Article by Grant Robertson, The Globe and Mail
A controversial pesticide banned in Canada has been discovered in products sold by a federally licensed medical marijuana producer, The Globe and Mail has learned, but neither the company nor Health Canada have informed the public.
Myclobutanil, a chemical that is also prohibited for use on legal cannabis in Colorado, Washington and Oregon because of health concerns, was found in product recently recalled by Mettrum Ltd., a Toronto-based medical marijuana company.
The pesticide is not approved for use on plants that are combusted, such as tobacco or cannabis, and is known to emit hydrogen cyanide when heated. Lawmakers in the three U.S. states moved quickly to ban myclobutanil, in some cases enacting emergency legislation when they discovered growers using it.
But the lack of public disclosure by Health Canada raises new questions about what controls are in place to ensure the product is free of contaminants and chemicals, particularly as the government prepares to introduce legislation to legalize the drug next year.
A Globe investigation this summer called into question the department’s ability to detect potentially dangerous contaminants, and revealed that Health Canada standards at the time did not require testing for myclobutanil and other banned chemicals.
The Mettrum discovery was made recently, when a random screening of the company’s products by Health Canada turned up the unauthorized use of pyrethrin, a pesticide derived from the chrysanthemum plant that is also not approved for medical cannabis.